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Weissbuch 1

Leah Wessbuch
Tony Abatemarco
Theater 150.2-3:50 PM
25 February 2012
The Pillowman
The Pillowman, a black comedy, by Martin McDonagh takes place in a
totalitarian police state and revolves around children’s author Katurian Katurian
Katurian’s interrogation by two cops, Ariel and Topolsky, for writing disturbing
children’s stories. The police also take his child brother Michal, who is “slow to get”
things as a result of abuse, as well. The Pillowman reveals how Katurian’s violent
children stories inspired his brother to murder five children, and after his brother
admits his guilt to the police, Katurian accepts punishment and puts his energy into
saving his work. I saw the play on February 20, 2014 at the Massman Theatre, and I
was surprised by how much I enjoyed the production despite its offensive nature.
For example, I found it difficult to sit through a lot of the play as it put a person with
severe mental illness in unflattering light. Still, I found that those aspects of the
productions did not distract from the overall message and intention of the play, the
importance and danger of art.
A person… directed the play brilliantly and simplistically. Most of the aspects
of the artistic design of the production used starkly quirky and minimalist colors and
appearance. For example, the background set, the jail had a yellowy-green color
which worked in this bizarre place that mirrored reality like Lewis Carroll’s Through

Even though Katurian never explicitly stated why he wanted to make sure the cops preserved his work. Both Katurian and Michal connected well as brothers. The actresses playing . which was comforting. The main imaginative part that I could tell that director Elise Napier played a huge part in was when Katurian told his stories. I felt like the actor playing Katurian answered these questions through his commitment to the role. I really wanted a little more physicality. the opposite occurred. played by Dylan McTee who could have judged his character so easily. As for the acting. I loved Michal’s physical and speech work. The present-day in the show almost seemed real. could have easily been trivialized and sincerely laughable. The direction of The Pillowman effectively communicated clear choices and aided the stories’ message. The characters in the play have an immense amount of depth and are extremely difficult to pull off because they all are so horrible. everyone in the production worked well together as a cast and individually. because there was a sense of complete ridiculousness and metatheatre like when Katurian’s mother and father moved in perfect unison throughout Katurian’s story about his childhood. a mentally-ill character. and after the second scene. played by Zach Cantrell. For example. while still maintaining a fantastical quality. Katurian. stood out as a humanized and realistic character. I thought that Napier definitely put in the appropriate physicality in this regard and made the stories come to life vividly. and I thought that the actor playing Katurian did not feel comfortable with the director’s choices. but the actor playing Michal constructed him as a human being.Weissbuch 2 the Looking Glass. there was a little bit too much repetition in movement and choices. Michal. In the interrogation scenes. The only time I felt like the direction was a little off was the first time Katurian read his story in jail. When people reenacted Katurian’s stories.

and The Pillowman is a meaningful piece of theatre that I thoroughly enjoyed . the production portrayed the theme of the play. dark music played. whenever a violent twist in Katurian’s stories occurred. With the excellent acting and directing. the danger of stories and the importance of written word. For example. I liked how Ariel played her role very one-note and how much Topolsky gave her dimension because they had such contrast as the “good cop” and “bad cop” and then “bad cop” and “good cop” when their roles reversed. Both of these aspects depicted the serious nature of the theme by making the audience uncomfortable. The whole design concept showed a reality so similar to what the world is today while still demonstrating a sick and twisted element. The show effectively communicated its message. effectively through these aspects as well as other production elements such as music and visual elements.Weissbuch 3 the cops did a wonderful job as they had a very distinct relationship that I understood well.